Spring 2019 NEWS


NEW WORK BY STUDENTS, ALUMNI & FACULTY ON THE SHELVES AND FORTHCOMING: Lots of lovely reads live online: read Semein Washington’s (Poetry 2019) poem in Sonder Midwest and work from Vince Trimboli (Poetry 2013) as the featured poet of the month with Moon Tide Press with whom his Book of Rabbits releases in May (get a glimpse of the cover above). And enjoy prose faculty Laura Long’s two poems in the newest issue of Cheat River Review: “When I Consider How My Breath Is Spent” and “Child in Forgotten Orchard.” Look for two poems by poetry faculty Mark DeFoe forthcoming in Evening Street ReviewChris Chapman’s (Fiction 2015) story collection Suicidal Gods (rockin’ the wild cover above designed by Brigid Hokana (Nonfiction 2020)) out with Unsolicited Press on October 22, and prose faculty Matt Randal O’Wain’s essay collection Meander Belt: family, loss, and coming of age in the working class south with a pub date of October 1 (though Matt promises free goodies for folks who pre-order at summer residency!).

The new prose piece “Lost & Found” by prose faculty Richard Schmitt is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review; Kevin Chesser (Poetry 2015) will have poems in Kestrel and Empty House Press this summer; Chad MacDonald’s (Nonfiction 2020) first essay that he wrote for the MFA program will appear in Scarlet Leaf Publishing; and WVU Press’s new collection Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene, forthcoming this summer, will include work from Lisa Hayes Minney (Nonfiction 2017), Laura Long, nonfiction faculty Katie Fallon, and Larry Thacker (Poetry 2018). Larry also has work coming out in Fiction Southeast, Inscape Magazine, K’inOdd Magazine, and Really System, and his poetry collection Feasts of Evasion releases from Future Cycle Press this summer. Phill Provance’s (Poetry 2019) poem “Gen Y Love Poem” was selected as a Finalist by Arisa White for the Writing Salon’s 2018 Jane Underwood Prize and will appear in the next issue of Third Wednesday; “Gen Y Love Poem” was also selected as a finalist for the Gwendolyn Brooks prize and will appear as a reprint (subsequent to its publication in Third Wednesday) in both a chapbook winners anthology titled Cut Poems from Air and a broadside published by Chicago-area poetry collective The Atrocious Poets as part of their One City One Poet celebration of Ms. Brooks’s life and work. And big news from prose faculty Karen Salyer McElmurray—she just signed a contract with University of Kentucky Press for her novel Wanting Radiance, to release in April 2020!

GIGS & ACCOLADES: On April 12, Sam Bowyer-McWhorter (Poetry 2014) and Vince Trimboli read at the Randolph County Arts Center in celebration of National Poetry Month. In May, Joyce Allan (Fiction 2015) will host the fourth annual Windy Ridge Writers Retreat for writers of children’s, middle grade, and YA books. Laura Long has been awarded a Summer 2019 Residency Fellowship in Fiction at Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA). Lisa Hayes Minney has earned Basic Library Certification, which is the result of 52 continuing education hours completed in nine months. Outgoing Program Director Jessie van Eerden’s essay “What I Want Your Voice to Do” has been named a Best of the Net Finalist by Sundress Publications. And Lara Lillibridge’s (Nonfiction 2016) memoir Girlish was just named a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist


April 19, Semein Washington & Beasa Dukes (Fiction 2019), along with two other writers, will read at Chop Suey Bookstore in Richmond at 7 pm.

April 26, poetry faculty and incoming Program Director Doug Van Gundy will read with Bill King to close the Randolph County Arts Center reading series for National Poetry Month.

April 27, Phill Provance will read with fellow finalists and the winner of the 2019 Gwendolyn Brooks Prize at the One City One Poet 2019 Anthology release party, sponsored by the Atrocious Poets and the City of Woodstock, Illinois, at Woodstock, Illinois’s Old Courthouse, 7-9 pm Central Time.

May 10, Katie Fallon will give a Keynote about her book Vulture at The Biggest Week in American Birding in Ohio (it’s like Disney World for bird watchers).

June 19-June 26, Kevin Chesser will go on the road for the third year in a row with Travelin’ Appalachians Revue on their summer tour.

Oct 3, Katie Fallon will give talks for the San Antonio (TX) Audubon Society and, on Oct 5, for the Fort Worth Audubon Society; she will also give a talk at Audubon Arizona’s Birds & Beer event in Phoenix on Nov 21. More info about these will be on on Katie’s website.

You can keep up with regular MFA news blasts on the HeartWood Blog, edited with great enthusiasm & love by Vicki Phillips (Fiction 2018).